Queen's Baton Relay Reception
His Excellency Mr Bruce Gosper, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore; His Worship the Mayor, City of Gold Coast, Councillor Tom Tate; other distinguished guests.
It is a very great pleasure for me and Kaye to be in Singapore for our second official visit since I became Governor of the State of Queensland in 2014.
It is Queensland that has the honour of hosting the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 – on the Gold Coast, Queensland’s second-largest city and Australia’s sixth largest.
The Games are now only five months away, and the Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive in Australia in just two months time.
Right now, however, the Baton is here in Singapore, having arrived yesterday. As Governor of Queensland, and the representative in that State of Her Majesty the Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, I am delighted to celebrate the arrival of the Baton with you.
During the Games, Queensland will welcome 6600 athletes and officials and one and a half million spectators, in front of a global television audience of one and a half billion people.
This is an enormous undertaking which we in Australia, and especially in Queensland, have taken on with gusto.
We intend to take full advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity for the benefit of current and future generations in our State, our country, and the Commonwealth at large.
The Games will feature fierce but friendly competition, and we know that Singapore will be a force to be reckoned with in table tennis, badminton, shooting, weightlifting, and in other sports.
We hope that all our visitors from Singapore will also find time to enjoy the beautiful surf, sand, and sun for which the Gold Coast is famous. I assure you that this is not a tactic designed to distract Singapore’s athletes when they compete against Australians.
Competition aside, the Games are also about the strengthening of Commonwealth ties, and Queensland’s economic relationship with Singapore certainly falls into that category.
The two-way trade and investment relationship is robust, which is why the Queensland Government established a Trade and Investment Office in Singapore in late 2016.
The 2018 Games give Singapore’s business community a rare opportunity to combine a love of great sport with the exploration of productive trade and investment opportunities in Queensland.
No economy stands still, and visiting Queensland for the Games would provide Singaporeans with a chance to catch up, at first hand, on emerging opportunities in both traditional and newer sectors in Queensland.
For instance, after the Games the Athletes’ Village will become the centre of a flagship project – the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. With two major hospitals and a university nearby, the precinct will become an exciting hub for innovation and business generation.
The Queensland Government would be delighted to assist members of the Singapore business community with trade missions, and targeted business events on the Gold Coast in a purpose-built hub that, entirely coincidentally, is beside the beach.
I thank you for joining us today, and I sincerely hope you are able to join us again to see the Queen’s Baton arrive for the opening ceremony of a thrilling Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next April.